When they first announced the 3DS years ago, I was skeptical. After seeing one in the store I was still not sold. Who cares about getting 3D on a handheld? Plus it makes me sick just looking at it. Now, you can turn off the 3D, so for people (like me) who don't like it that's a win.

Fast forward years later and all the games I want to play are coming out on the thing.

All the games. Like Animal Crossing. Like Luigi's Mansion. Like a new found series (to me) Fire Emblem. Any any new pokemon games (although admittedly, I still haven't beat the one I bought 3 years ago).

Since Fire Emblem just launched and the other two I really want are launching this spring, I started stalking ebay for deals on 3DS systems. What I wanted was one cheap. Like 60%-70%-off-the-normal-price cheap. Of course, to get something like that you need to pick up a used console.

A broken, used console.

So I did some research on common fixes and decided anything that needed a shoulder button or touch screen replacement was fair game. The top screen seemed like more of a pain to replace, so I didn't want to get into that, but if one cheap enough came along I'd try. No power and broken game slots were a little bit trickier to repair and for the cost of a broken console (averaging between $40-$70) I didn't want to risk buying an expensive paperweight.

I lucked out and found a unit that definitely turned on (not all ebay listings are terribly descriptive on what's wrong, so it's hit and miss) and just had some broken shoulder buttons. In theory, that's an easy fix. Add that to the fact that most RPGs/Strategy games I play don't actually use the shoulder buttons, I was sold.

The unit arrived yesterday and I poked around a little with it yesterday and tonight. I definitely like a lot of things more on my DSi, but the circle pad is interesting and the home screen is reminiscent of the Wii system.

Best of all, I discovered, the unit is an ambassador unit. In that - it was part of the batch of 3DS units sold before Nintendo dropped the price from $250 to $170. Anyone who had purchased the unit for a full $250 was offered 20 free games.

So that's 10 Gameboy and 10 Gameboy Advance games at my disposal. Not all of them are interesting, and several I actually own as original Nintendo Gameboy cartridges, but enough are new to me that it's a great treat. Kirby, an old Fire Emblem, Zelda: Minish Cap, and a few others.

I've been enjoying poking around with it. I look forward to eventually laying my hands on some 3DS games - especially Animal Crossing when it come's out. I'm weirdly addicted to those games...


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